Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah here and sought granting of tribal status to the Hatti community.
Granting the status would help bringing them into the mainstream and ensure more development in the area where they are settled, Thakur said.
Over 2.5 lakh people belonging to the Hatti community are based mainly in the 133 panchayats dotting the trans-Giri area in Sirmaur district of the state. For decades, they have been fighting for Scheduled Tribe status on the lines of the residents of Jaunsar-Bawar area in adjoining Uttarakhand.
Official sources told IANS that the Himachal government sent a proposal to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on May 4, 2005, to declare some areas, including the trans-Giri area, as scheduled areas.
Among the areas listed in the state government’s proposal are Chhota and Bara Bangal villages in Kangra district, Chohar Valley in Mandi district, Churah in Chamba district, Malana in Kullu district and Dodra Kwar and Rampur Bushahr, both in Shimla district.
The hill state also pleaded that Barad, Bangala, Labana, Hatti and Dudra Kawaru communities living in these areas be declared Scheduled Tribes.
On December 16, 1993, a select committee of the Assembly recommended to then Speaker T.S. Negi to initiate steps to declare the Hatti community a Scheduled Tribe, said a state government functionary.